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Where do your loyalties lie?
Posted: Friday, August 13, 2010 6:31 PM
Joined: 02/05/2008
Posts: 392

We’ve all had our fair share of bad bosses, but with confidentiality clauses and the general “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy – to the media, at least – of the yachting industry…is it okay to tattle to the media about a previous bad boss or should you remain professional and keep your personal feelings towards him or her aside?


Jeff Greene, democratic candidate for the Florida Senate, recently was outed by former crewmembers who allege that he used his yacht for wild parties and the media had a field day when a former deckhand mentioned the boat stopped in Cuba once.


The question is whether should crew keep their mouths shut even if there is bad blood between owner and former crewmember or let it all spill out? And if the latter, should this be held against said crewmember when looking for new positions?


What do you think?   


Posted: Friday, August 13, 2010 7:37 PM
Put on your battle gear, this is going to be a good one.
Posted: Friday, August 13, 2010 8:56 PM
Joined: 13/11/2008
Posts: 19

I have been in the industry for 4.5 years and have seen my fair share of yachts. While there are some owners and guests who have not been the nicest people in the world, MOST of the time I feel it is my duty to honor my professional obligation as a crewmember and let it be what it may. No they weren't nice to me, but I'm not going to go cry about it. HOWEVER, there are times when the behaviour of the owner or guest is beyond atrocious and a public outing of these a-holes is absolutely warranted. I have worked for a couple like this (for one weekend only, and never had to sign a confidentiality agreement) and if I were ever given the opportunity or the reason (such as he were running for public office) you bet your bottom dollar I would be throwing him under the bus every opportunity I got. When their behaviour excessively crosses the line, then all bets are off. Why do I have to show them loyalty when all they showed me was rude, disgusting, and sometimes illegal behaviour? Of course, if it ever did come to this then I would be sure to try and remain anonymous in case it ever did come back to haunt me.
Posted: Saturday, August 14, 2010 10:40 AM
Oh, the stories we could tell!! Confidentiality Agreements (CA) though, are only as good as the people who sign them. Whilst the "signee" is onboard as crew, normally it is also relatively easy to enforce as the threat of dismissal or financial penalties will deter them from breaking the agreement. I have a had a situation in the past where we commended by an owner for keeping our traps shut, and we were rewarded handsomely. But, if an "ex" deckhand leaves the yacht and starts a rumour, then as an owner or captain, what can you do? In theory if you have signed a CA and it does not have a cancellation date on it (which none do!!) then you are bound by that agreement for the rest of your life in regard to what that owner did or did not do whilst you were employed on the yacht, That also applies to his private & business life when off the yacht as well!! I am sure Mr Greene will work out what he is going to do, but will it involve lawyers? Thats up to him and wether he will find it beneficial to sue the crew member for libel or slander. Is going to be fun to see what happens!!
Posted: Saturday, August 14, 2010 5:07 PM
Owners are central to the industry and there as many good and bad owners as there are crew. My last yacht owner had notorious reputation which was mostly unfounded, nevertheless working hard and playing hard is not a sin for anyone in my books. If my owner was breaking the law I’d probably not know about it and if I did my best action would be to merely leave and keep my mouth shut. Obviously if I saw the owner use or sell hard drugs, commit murder or rape I’d be bound to speak up but aside from that what right do I have to say anything? I am not an attorney and can’t predict what’s actually lawful or unlawful.
Posted: Tuesday, August 17, 2010 6:01 PM
Posted: Tuesday, August 17, 2010 6:23 PM
Joined: 09/10/2008
Posts: 134

For me, as long there are no illegalities, then it is not for me to judge anyone's else's moral code. If I do not personally like what is going on then I will leave the boat (and have).
If there is an assault then there should be the opportunity to settle the matter privately or the police should be involved. If there are drugs on board then it is time for someone to leave...
BTW, not much point in posting anonymous if you indentify yourself with joining details.

Posted: Tuesday, August 17, 2010 6:42 PM
Joined: 27/07/2008
Posts: 96

Everybody should keep in mind that a contract consists of a service and a consideration,the service is the work we perform and any constraints we accept, the consideration is the remuneration package and the conditions of employment offered. If the employer fails to pay in full the contract is broken, the employee has no further obligations under that contract.
    Regarding the visit to Cuba, it is alleged that a FEDERAL law has been broken and I don't understand why the FBI has not interviewed the suspect to determine the truth of this allegation, keeping in mind that you can be jailed for several years for lying to the FBI this should only take about 1 hour of 1 agents time, travel included, to get to the bottom of. Considering the suspects political ambitions determining the truth should be a priority.

Posted: Tuesday, August 17, 2010 7:17 PM
Sadly. in the case of Jeff Greene, his reputation is paramount to the voters considering him for representation in the Senate. I don't think he has seen the total extent of bad publicity about his personality and business ethics. Just a review of vendors in the Fort Lauderdale area would disclose that he had a terrible reputation for paying for services. In fact, that reputation followed him throughtout the Bahamas and Caribbean so that in most cases vendors would refuse to do work unless they were paid in cash first. I don't think in this case confidentiality is an issue since he is running for public office and the voters have a right to know who he is. Believe me, if all the crew, and vendors came out with his lapses in moral judgement, you couldn't print it all.
Posted: Tuesday, August 17, 2010 7:34 PM
I've always had a theory that bosses should have references as much as crew, but confidentiality prevents that. Shame!!!!

Posted: Tuesday, August 17, 2010 10:02 PM
Joined: 27/07/2008
Posts: 96

Talk about what goes around comes around! Mr.Green would appear to have amassed millions of dollars by failing to pay in full for many services, now he is spending millions of dollars to be elected to the Senate  ( either for vanity or because he can see opportunity for financial gain) which spending will almost certainly gain him nothing but notoriety. Too bad he did not consider being an honorable person before he sought to become "The honorable gentleman".

Posted: Tuesday, August 17, 2010 10:32 PM
A political figure that is corrupt and has no morals? I am shocked.....crew are expected to uphold honest and loyal standards so why shouldnt the owners be held to the same standards? Having millions of dollars does not make you exempt from right or wrong. Drag him thru the scupper if you have the information and do the general public a favor before he has access to do wrong to more individuals. Everyone needs to be accountable for there actions and money doesn't give you a free pass to act otherwise.
Posted: Tuesday, August 17, 2010 11:39 PM

At first blush, I didn't like the tone (keep you mouth shut) of Janine's thread. That being said, in over 30 years in the business, I have made it a point to stay out of the yacht owner's affairs. That means I use extreme discretion when it comes to the owner's business.

However, if an owner were to short me, or fail to cover injuries incurred while in the performance of my duties, and by that cause it leads to my termination when I seek proper care or remuneration-

and that individual portrays himself to be a "mild mannered" and "caring" candidate for an political office as important as SENATOR of the UNITED STATES, then all bets are off.

As a constituent of the State of Florida, I have a RIGHT to know the modus operandi of candidate  because he/she may need to address my health, financial or veteran issues. Jeff Greene has now lied 4 times wth regards to his trip to Cuba. This alone gives me pause. As me Pappy always said, "there's only one thing worse than a thief, and that's a liar."


Posted: Wednesday, August 18, 2010 1:13 AM
Joined: 18/08/2010
Posts: 4

I have heard a tremendous amount of terrible things about this man, but I want to point out that creating a public discussion thread is further "outing" him, so there really isnt much to debate as to whether people think it is right or wrong. I should also mention that I personally have worked for a fair number of politicians, in both parties, and I havent met one elected official that I honestly could say was an upright decent compassionate human being that lived according to the morals and family values that are mentioned in their campaign ads. As somebody once said to me "Looking at a politician and saying "but they are lying!", is like looking at an actor and saying  "but they are all dressed up" " I can also tell you that I have heard a lot of negative things about the captain quoted in the article referenced here. Also, if what has been quoted in the article is true, and there is no confidentiality contract, it is not slander or libel, it isnt illegal in any way.
   I believe it is important to get the word out to the yachting work force when there is an owner to be avoided, but as far as going to the media, I feel that if contacted by a reporter, the only thing to say is that you have no comment.  In this particular case I would be hard pressed to believe that one of the other 2 candidates are not at least partially responsible for this article getting written, so be careful when you comment on one side of a political race, because chances are by putting down one side,  you are supporting the other in the public eye, and I can tell you that I have heard pretty damning things about both Meeks and Crist.  I steer clear of reporters as a general rule.----Yachtie Beware

Posted: Wednesday, August 18, 2010 5:54 AM
Joined: 14/01/2009
Posts: 1026

Discretion in life is a form of proper etiquette and is to be applauded. If you have to use discretion to constantly shield a poorly behaved yacht owner , you have a difficult job. In the case of the yacht owner who also has political ambitions ,the rules of proper etiquette change. This man is not just another rich guy bumbling thru life playing with his toys while pushing a shopping trolley full of cash..he is applying for a public job. Your responsibility as an American citizen is to approve his application. If you have honest reservations as to his fitness for public office its your duty to speak out. Get him.
Posted: Wednesday, August 18, 2010 2:12 PM
Should this be the same Mr Greene that owns the boat Summerwind, there should be a caution. I feel that boats with a bad reputation should be outed, to save other yachties the discomfort of associated with them. I had the unpleasant experience of being on a boat that was hit by Summerwind 3,5 years ago in SXM, and at the time the whole issue of insurance was dodgy regarding Summerwind. At the same time the ex mate was still looking to get paid, an had not been done so for at least a couple of months. So if indeed this is the same owner, well he has coming to him what he deserves, and people looking for employment should be aware.
Posted: Wednesday, August 18, 2010 4:34 PM
Forget who, there are many questionable owners, and lots of boats are masks for laundering. Point is, YOU TALK AND YOU WALK. Plain and simple. My loyalties lie with ME !! I want another yacht yacht job, so I keep my mouth shut. Which, by the way works well in the crew mess on deck in the bar and on the bridge(more of you should try it sometimes, the benefits are huge). Anyhow, talking about boats is one thing, ya, sure, that one doesn't pay, they have a bad itinerary. A boat is only as good as its crew. Sometimes owners don't use their boats because they don't like the crew, then sometimes they come more because all of a sudden they are enjoying them selves....the people with the big mouths don't ever have enough information to make an informed opinion and therefore are spreading Sh*t. Happens with other crew, owners, captains, agents...whoever doesn't let them get their way. Now, protect other yachties from bad boats ? I say yes. "Oh don't work there, they don't pay, they owe the mate three months salary. Maybe take the warning but we don't know why he is owed either. Talk about owners ? Definitely a no, no....good yachties wont even tell their friends who owns the boat they work on. Spreading rumours around about owners or captains gets you heard, everyone likes gossip, but your audience wont ever recommend or hire you because you have a BIG MOUTH !!
Capt Kaj
Posted: Saturday, August 21, 2010 7:37 PM
Joined: 05/08/2008
Posts: 83

Loyalty is a 2 way street, here´s why.......

You´ve all heard that famous saying "What goes on onboard, stays onboard". Well that´s all fine and dandy provided you get the respect and loyalty from the owner or guest. If they burn you, then burn them back. Name and shame the bad´s really quite simple. Why bite your tongue if you don´t get paid, or you get wrongfully dismissed, or the guy hits you because he´s drunk or drugged up.


Hey I´ve been there where the boss had 2 different girlfriends, it was a case of dropping one off in a bay before our home port, girlfriend 1 was put into a taxi and disposed of, 20 minutes later we were picking up girlfriend number 2. In the meantime the long blonde hairs had to be removed from the bosses cabin so that the brunette with shorter hair didn´t find that the blonde had been there. Then there were the drugs, prostitutes etc etc. Did I say anything to outsiders, nope. However, and there is always one, when I got burnt by the boss and left in a hospital bed because of an accident that happened onboard in a storm, he left me for dead. I got a letter saying that because of my accident, he no longer needed my services, that was the very day before my major back operation. Nice guy. There ended the loyalty.

Capt Kaj

Posted: Saturday, August 21, 2010 9:13 PM
Joined: 10/07/2008
Posts: 7

Whether written or not we work under a contract. When the owner fails to pay wages he violates that contract. A friend of mine did not get paid in full for his work onboard Summerwind. I feel that Mr. Greene therefore violated the contract and my friend is free to discuss Mr. Greene’s outrageous behaviors with the media or anyone else. Mr. Greene’s decision to run for the Senate certainly makes it fair game for those he mistreated to come forward. The downside is that speaking out may be perceived by others in the industry as being disloyal or indiscrete and hold it against you. That does not mean that you cannot steer a colleague away from a bad boat. I am more than thankful to the captains, crews and agents that have given me a little discrete insight into a boat’s program.
Posted: Monday, August 23, 2010 2:09 AM
Here's my three cents and longest 10 days of my life: (copied and pasted from HuffingtonP...LOUD AND PROUD). --------------------- I've worked on Jeff Greene's yacht, and I did not see any parties go on. However, having met this clown for a few days and witness how he typically behaved was a little short of traumatic. As with what Sharyn Peach said, Jeff Greene typically disparaged and intimidated anyone who was around him...especially the captain who I felt pretty bad for. I made sure not hang around the guy too often..I wasn't afraid of Greene per say, I was more afraid of what I might say..or do, ahem, and I'm hardly a hostile person at that. I kind of have a blabbery (politically motivated) mouth myself - though NOT so much while on yachts especially with guests. I don't think I could ever get that spoiled and unhappy and just plain stupid. You just had to be there I guess. And it was horrid enough to have to work with a yucky - ANGRY at the world - half naked - French stripper turned stewardess on coke. I still remember this woman...when I read about Jeff Greene, she pops into my mind again. I'm not sure which is worse. Okay, Jeff Greene takes the cake. I'm so ashamed that he's from the States. I'm sure many have wondered if this man is suffering from some sort of mental disorder. This video of him gabbing at 90mph is very telling of this man's overall emotional state. I am a bit disgusted that he of all people has the temerity to think he can pull this off in the American politico. But what is more disgusting - Jeff Greene pretending that he's a savy business man (via hard work at guessing on people's misfortune in the housing market) turned politician ---- or stupid voters in very large numbers? I mean, we're talking South Florida here. I love the state, but "this" can actually become a possibility in Florida. And as far Greene's former manager, Rupert Connor. Connor owns Luxary Yacht Group in Fort Lauderdale. I believe he's from the UK. And for what it's worth, after having talked to this man on the phone back in 07 right before I filed an EEOC complaint against LYG and two others for constantly posting ads for specific nationalities, age groups, EYE color, hair color, and so on, I found him to be the ever typical English international "recruiter" who gave any stupid excuse, in his own Britishy mundane casj' kind of way as to why his agency would post such ads.. which was the usual "it's more about what the owner wants many times" kind of thing along with his JARRING accusation, "well, we have been actually helping you a lot more than other agencies, I believe....". Yes, that's what Rupert Connor said. My jaw dropped as I was listening to this mundane (new) business owner...[rest of post removed by moderator for violating forum guidelines.]
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